Here are a bunch of low mileage electric vehicles you can buy in South Africa – and how much they cost

 ·5 Oct 2022

Globally, and within South Africa, demand for electric vehicles (EV) is growing. Automotive marketplace AutoTrader – in partnership with Smarter Mobility Africa – has published a study focusing on consumers’ perceptions of EVs as well as their preferences in considering their purchase.

The 2022 AutoTrader Electric Vehicle Buyers Survey highlights a slight shift in sentiment around owning an EV in the future, with the initial cost of purchase considered to be the EVs biggest disadvantage.

“EVs in South Africa have the added disadvantage of incurring substantial taxes. Internal combustion engine (ICE) imports incur 18% versus EV Imports of 25%, which pushes the cost of an EV to two times that of the average price of a new ICE vehicle,” said AutoTrader CEO, George Mienie.

“It is interesting in the Survey to note that the initial cost of purchase has become an even bigger disadvantage to consumers. As a result, it seems that the early adoption of EVs is decreasing as consumers are becoming more educated. The data shows that consumers are pushing out their purchase intent and almost taking a wait-and-see approach.”

EVs are still out of reach for more than two-thirds of consumers in South Africa. Still, 64% indicated a willingness to spend up to R500,000 on an EV, he said.

As battery technology continues to develop, it will not only reduce the initial cost of EVs, but increase range, noted the vehicle specialist. Manufacturers are now producing EVs that go further than 700km on a single charge. In South Africa, EVs like the Jaguar I-Pace can travel up to 470km on a single charge.

Range anxiety declined in 2022, and respondents appeared to be more realistic about range (300km-500km) than they have been in the past. Still, the majority (37%) stated they would consider buying an EV if it had a range of 500-700km.

Charging infrastructure concerns, cited as the main disadvantage in the previous report, declined. And the number of people who have driven an EV locally has risen, up from 12% in 2021 to 15% in 2022.

Reduced carbon emissions and air pollution followed by cheaper running costs were cited as the biggest advantages of an EV. According to the report, on average, an EV costs about 75% less to ‘refuel’ versus an internal combustion engine car.

The number of those willing to pay more for an EV upfront, even given its lower running costs, fell from 68.2% in 2021 to 64.6% in 2022.

Battery efficiency, safety and price emerged as the most important factors when purchasing an EV. Given South Africans’ love of driving, unsurprisingly, self-driving technology came in as the least influential factor.

Charging time emerged as the second biggest barrier, increasing from 58% in 2021 to 59%. But tellingly, 81% of respondents stated that if an EV could be fully charged in under an hour at a fast charging station, they would consider purchasing one, while over 70% of respondents with a higher disposable income want EVs to charge at home within 4 hours.

Significantly, almost all respondents still stated that they would consider a used EV citing reduced prices as the biggest reason. 79% said they would consider a used electric vehicle with under 60,000km on the odometer.

Supply and demand?

Electric vehicle searches continue to surge. In the first half of 2022, EV searches using the fuel-type filter increased by 99.95% year-on-year, while hybrid searches soared by 129%. And EV views rose a massive 133%, with the Audi RS e-tron, Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan, the three most viewed EVs, according to AutoTrader data.

Views for hybrids with their combustion engine and electric motor increased 61.28%, with the BMW i8, locally-built Toyota Corolla Cross, and Ferrari SF90 emerging as the most viewed.

Enquiries indicate the car consumers are most likely to buy. Significantly, enquiries for EVs rose 74.75%, while hybrid enquiries rose 77.77%.

Demand for EVs is outpacing supply

“Used EV stock shrunk 35.91% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2021, while hybrid stock decreased by 9.52%,” said Mienie.

One of the earlier EV entrants to the local market, the quirky BMW i3, is the most listed EV – 2019 models priced around R666,000 – while the second-most listed EV, the Porsche Taycan, lists on average for R3.1 million. In the middle price range are EV’s like the Jaguar I-Pace and all-electric Volvo XC40…but there aren’t many.

In the hybrid sphere, the distinctive BMW i8 is the most listed.

Most listed electric vehicles in 2022

”Despite all the new car EV entrants to the local market, used EVs and hybrids have reduced in supply, suggesting an increased appetite for EVs and that current owners are perhaps hanging on to their electric vehicles. Those that do come onto the used market are quickly snapped up at good prices for the seller.

While the R500,000 mark is still the magic number, it seems as though more consumers are willing to spend this R500,000, and even north of that,” said Mienie.

Most listed hybrid vehicles in 2022

Read: Electric vehicles add to electricity demand, but not as much as you might think

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